Gamification is one part of the world of game design that easily excites outsiders: Ideas about how systems and rewards motivate people, and how designed "playfulness" helps make labor more palatable, are easy for people to understand. Finally, game design has a purpose and a use beyond frivolity.
These ideas are appealing to companies, who effectively see means of getting employees to feel a greater sense of reward and happienss on the job without the employer actually having to pay the employees more. And the idea that everything, everyone in the world can be designed and controlled is central to the business ethos of Silicon Valley.
I am often asked if we will be reviewing popular gamification books on Offworld. We won't. While the authors are perfectly lovely people and in some cases are our friends and colleagues, we are only interested in play for its own sake. We think it's dark af otherwise, and this wonderful video, "Games & Gamification: The New Nihilism" by the game designer Katharine Neil showcases this brilliantly.
It was done a year ago but has recently begun making the rounds again: as well-known experts in the gamification field discuss the fickle nature of human motivation and our struggle to feel intrinsically rewarded, historical footage of political movements provides a startling and often funny contrast.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
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